September 8, 2007
San Francisco, CA
The Blue Plate ~ 3218 Mission St. @ Valencia ~ 415.282.6777
We finally made it to Blue Plate! They say or I saw, good things come to those who wait, well, this is very true in the case! We had our good friends C. & J. in from Kansas City and they were dying to have some GOOD food so we were pretty happy to score a very last minute reservation (literally, 2 hours before eating).
While we pondered over the menu we started with a bottle of Bandol (mourvedre), Gros' Nore 2000, Provence France and an order of the padron peppers with laura chenel goat cheese and marcona almonds - as you may know these are some of our favorite eats right now! Both starters were OUTSTANDING! The wine was bursting with flavor, somewhat jammy but very mellow. The peppers were sauteed with olive oil and were slightly warm which melted the cheese just right - the combination was winning.
I and J. both ordered the "braised hill farm pork shoulder with citrus polenta, brown turkey figs and prosciutto" and C. and L. ordered the "blue plate meatloaf mashed potatoes and blue lake green beans", which they are noted for. The table started with an order of the "fresh cranberry bean and heirloom tomato salad albacore conserva, with arugula and basil aioli" as well as an order of the "macaroni and drunken spanish goat cheese".
Okay, braised pork shoulder is too GOOD! This had to be one of the best things I have ever put into my mouth. They braised the pork and then ripped it off the shoulder bones forming it into these delightful little cakes (2 hearty ones) and it was served on top of a citrus polenta which happened to be not cheesy and had just the right amount of citrus to give it a warm and inviting sent when the hot pork was seated on it. The sauce of figs and prosciutto was really outstanding and wrapped the entire dish up! I was stuffed after eating one of the pork cakes and forced myself to eat the rest. And who does not love figs with the saltiness of prosciutto. I highly recommend this dish - highly!
Now, I wish I could give a blast on the meatloaf but both meatloaf eaters would not share - they equally said they never order meatloaf at a restaurant but when the waitress described it to them, they knew they had to have it. It was basically gone before we could even reach our forks across the tables.
The heirloom salad was very "summer" - light and refreshing. The mac and cheese, well, we have a new favorite comfort food. The goat cheese gave it a nice tangy flavor!
For dessert, despite being stuffed we ordered a warm chocolate cake which was outstanding - dark, rich and very sinful and to counter-act all the badness in the cake we also had a sweet berry crisp, which was just that not to sweet and just like grandma made or like she should had made!
What we love about this place - local and organic cooking, comfortable and casual (mismatched silverware) atmosphere, romantic but not stuffy. I give The Blue Plate, 5 forks! We will be back again and again!!!